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Bob James may be all about smooth jazz, but the rhythm he’d adopted by 1974-75 certainly had a hip and a hop. And by way of endorsement, his treatment of the Paul Simon-penned song ‘Take Me to the Mardi Gras’ (off the 1975 album Two) has become one of the most familiar samples in hip hop. According to whosampled.com, its bell and drum groove has been used 190 times, even surpassing his influential track ‘Nautilus’ and its tally of 160 times. When I hear ‘Take Me to the Mardi Gras’, I think of the early recordings of Run-D.M.C. and Beastie Boys’. Glorious.